Matt Kuchar wins WGC-Accenture Matchplay Championship

Matt Kuchar beat Hunter Mahan 2&1 in the final of the WGC-Accenture Matchplay Championship at Dove Mountain in Arizona to win the first World Golf Championship of the season

Matt Kuchar

Matt Kuchar beat Hunter Mahan 2&1 in the final of the WGC-Accenture Matchplay Championship at Dove Mountain in Arizona to win the first World Golf Championship of the season.

In the consolation match, Australian Jason Day beat English Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter 1up to finish in third place.

Many people fancied defending champion Mahan - a man who hadn't been down in any of his previous matches - but Kuchar made a fast start and moved 4up after eight holes.

Mahan won the 10th and the 11th, but a Kuchar birdie at the par-5 13th restored his three hole advantage.

Mahan fought back to win the 14th and 16th holes, but was forced to concede the 17th and hand Kuchar the title.

In the consolation match, Day won the 14th to open up a three hole lead and - despite a characteristic Poulter fightback on 16 and 17 - managed to hold on for the win.

Poulter had earlier been defeated 4&3 by Mahan, while Kuchar disposed of Day by the same winning margin.

It was a long weekend for the players, with 36 holes played on Saturday and Sunday after snow postponed the first round.

The delay didn't affect Kuchar and Mahan, but world number one and two Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods were knocked out in round one, along with Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott, Lee Westwood and Charl Schwartzel.

Kuchar beat Sergio Garcia in the second round and Nicolas Colsaerts in the third before a 3&2 triumph over surprise package Robert Garrigus in the quarter final.

Mahan, meanwhile, progressed serenely through the stages, beating Richard Sterne and Martin Kaymer comprehensively before a hard-fought 1up victory over US Open champion Webb Simpson.

"I'm not sure I can explain how excited I am to have won this tournament," Kuchar said.

"To come out on top after six matches of playing the top 64 guys in the world is an incredible feeling."

WGC-Accenture Matchplay Championship The Golf Club at Dove Mountain, Marana, Arizona Feb 20-23, purse $8,750,000, par 72

1) Matt Kuchar - $1,500,000 2) Hunter Mahan - $875,000 3) Jason Day - $615,000 4) Ian Poulter - $500,000 T5) Graeme McDowell - $275,000 T5) Webb Simpson - $275,000 T5) Steve Stricker - $275,000 T5) Robert Garrigus - $275,000

Bold signified Titleist golf ball use

Nick Bonfield
Content Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email nick.bonfield@futurenet.com with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x